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‘Clara’s Dream’ offers a ‘Nutcracker’ for the younger ages

Dancenter North will present 'Clara's Dream' 60-minute 'Nutcracker' ballet for younger kids.

Dancenter North will present 'Clara's Dream,' a 60-minute 'Nutcracker' ballet for younger kids.

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Kids of all ages love the tale of “The Nutcracker,” but the ballet is sometimes a little long for preschoolers’ attention spans. Dancenter North has the answer.

They are presenting “Clara’s Dream,” a 60-minute version of the classic tale, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 at Libertyville High School, 708 W. Park Ave.

“It has all the color of the ‘Nutcracker,’” said Cheri Lindell, Dancenter North’s director and producer. And it offers preschoolers “all the action they like,” she added. “They still can follow Clara on her journey—but not as long a journey.”

Over 100 dancers will perform.

Tickets are $12-$15.

Afterwards, at Clara’s Special Party, kids can meet the cast in the Kingdom of the Sweets, get their autographs and sit in a sleigh with Clara.

Admission to the party is $18 for each child/adult couple, $10 per extra person.

For details, call (847) 367-7970 or go to


Everyone will learn balancing and juggling skills when Jason Kollum presents See a Juggler! Be a Juggler!, 2-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 at Vernon Area Public Library, 300 Olde Half Day Road, Lincolnshire. Kollum will juggle everything from balls to giant beanbag chairs. Registration is required.

For details, call (224) 543-1486 or visit


Mr. and Mrs. Claus will greet families in the lobby at a free Holiday Open House, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11 at Rink Side Sports & Family Entertainment Center, Gurnee Mills Mall, Gurnee. There will be a holiday ice Show, 4:45-5:30 p.m., free candy canes and other goodies.

For details, call (847) 856-1064 or go to


You can also find the Claus couple in a snow-covered sleigh in Cook Park, 413 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville, 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 7 and 14. It’s part of Dickens of a Holiday, which also includes a Holiday Shoppe for kids at Petranek’s Pharmacy, 426 N. Milwaukee Ave. Santa’s elves will help youngsters select gifts for $5 or less.

For details, call (847) 680-0336 or go to


A trainload of fun is promised at a special Thomas the Tank Engine event, 1-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 at Fremont Public Library, 1170 N. Midlothian Road, Mundelein. Registration is required. Afterwards, enjoy play time with the library’s Thomas train set.

For details, call (847) 566-8702 or go to

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